23 March 1997 alan.hewat@gmail.com

Andrew Hewat 1750 - 1811 Edinburgh

The following commentary was provided by Dianne Kelly, ggg grandaughter of Andrew, and commented by AWH, his gggg grandson.

"According to Gregory Palmer's book on Loyalists in the American Revolution, Andrew arrived in the Colonies prior to 1773, joining his brother Alexander in South Carolina. He was a wine merchant in Charleston and married a widow, Katherine Brisbane Elliott, in 1773. Palmer's book claims that Andrew went to Savannah in 1773 where he aquired his own plantation. In the memorial that Alexander presented to the commissioners reviewing Loyalist claims, Alexander mentions land that he purchased for his brother, Andrew (AWH - 300 acres in SC ?). He also refers to his nephew, Andrew's son, also named Alexander. Since Andrew & Katherine were married in June, 1773, I'm going to assume that Alexander was born in 1774."

"Andrew must have been quite successful with his farming ( he grew indigo and rice on his plantation). He had at least a few slaves which would put him in the 'landed gentry' class since almost all slaves were owned by a very small percentage of Southerners. He also had some joint ventures with his brother-in-law, Adam Fowler Brisbane."

AWH - According to documents provided by Victoria and Dianne, in particular his memorial claim after the war, presented by his agent brother Alexander, Andrew farmed land owned by his brother-in-law Adam in Savannah. Andrew's claims for compensation for buildings and stock on this land were disallowed because the land was not his. Apparently it was not uncommon for members of the same family to take different sides in the rebellion, sometimes as an insurance policy when it was not clear which side would win. It should not be assumed that Andrew and Adam were necessarily in conflict.

"Family tradition has held that Katherine and the child died in a yellow fever epidemic. Katherine's death is reported in the "Georgia Gazette" for the week of Nov. 22-29, 1775, but there is no mention of the child in any of the issues I have been able to peruse. Furthermore, there was no yellow fever epidemic in the South in those days. Because of another reference that I stumbled across I feel it's very possible that Baby Alexander survived and was raised by his mother's family. I'm still working on that one."

"My theory has been that Baby A., being only about a year old when his mother died, and with the war on the horizon, was turned over to the Brisbanes to raise. Once Andrew committed to the fight, there really wouldn't have been any opportunity for him to reclaim his son during the war years. It appears likely that Katherine's other son, James Elliott, was raised by Adam ( I should have a better idea when I receive information from the Equity Court re: James' claim). So, perhaps Andrew felt that his child was better off with his former in-laws, or of course, Baby A. could have died in the meantime. We may never know, but I'll keep plugging away at it."

AWH - In the US today, Hewatt's are concentrated in SC and Ga, and an 'Alexander Hewatt', moved from SC to Gwinnett Co. Ga around 1825. (Two t's were often used in the name in old documents, but other Hewatts were living in Spartanburg SC since at least 1790 according to census returns).

"In any case Katherine died in 1775, and when war broke out Andrew, also a Loyalist, raised an army for King George called the King's Florida Rangers (AWH - actually Andrew was commissioned to form a company of the Georgia Loyalists, Georgia still being controlled by the British). He was a Capt. who served under Maj. James Wright, the son of the governor of Georgia. We have quite a few records pertaining to his regiment, but I don't know in which campaigns he was involved as yet."

"Andrew fared better than his brother with the commissioners. Although he lost his land and property (in SC) he was given some compensation as well as a land grant in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. Actually he was able to sell most of his land (AWH - in Savannah, Georgia, which was retained by the British until the end of the war). Since he actively served the King, the commissioners probably considered his claims more worthy than Alexander's. The property that he owned jointly with Adam Brisbane became Adam's since he was a Patriot. (I'm working on that too since we may have a claim there somewhere :) )"

"We're not sure how long Andrew was in Nova Scotia. The American Revolution ended in 1781, and Andrew appears to have mustered out in 1782 (on half pay, which was seen by Wright as an injustice. He is listed as having a land grant in Shelburne in 1785, but we know that by 1790 he was living back in the Borders, where he married Elizabeth Hogg. Among the baptisms of his children in Scotland is included one for a slave he named Robert."

Notes by AWH, LDS references and further reading.

Here is a map of South Carolina districts in 1769. Charleston has many historical records of the period. There were originally only four counties. The Charleston timeline outlines the history of the city, which was until 1783 called 'Charles Town'. Andrew's brother, historian Alexander, wrote about hurricanes in the early town.

Census returns with family names exist from 1790. By 1790, slave ownership in Charleston was much more common. At least 1000 Loyalist blacks also fled to Nova Scotia after the war.

Shelburne has a very active genealogical society and records to many of the 3000 Royalists who moved there after the war. It was probably pretty desolate and unsuitable for a farmer such as Andrew.

Andrew ended his days as a tenant at Merton Newstead & Dalcove Mains, Berwickshire. An inventory of his belongings at his death was filed on 06/01/1820 under C15/7/2 with the Lauder Commission and may be downloaded from the Wills & Testaments section of Scotland's People Andrew's grandson John (1836-1906) named his house in Bairnsdale, Australia 'Dalcove' according to his death notice in the local paper.

Alan William Hewat (alan.hewat@gmail.com)